Rugby League: `Play with no pay' pleads coach

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The Independent Online
YORK'S COACH, Dean Robinson, is appealing to his players to take the field against Dewsbury tonight, even though neither they nor he have been paid since 15 March.

The club, fourth in the Northern Ford Premiership, ran into similar problems last year when the players agreed to wait until the end of the season for their wages. But now that they have been left without pay again, some have suggested going on strike.

"I think that is a knee-jerk reaction and I hope that something can be sorted out," said their coach, Robinson. "Even if it isn't, I will be appealing to them to play. Neither the players, the coaching staff nor the backroom staff have been paid, so I'm in the same boat as them."

Bradford are still waiting to learn the full extent of Danny Peacock's knee injury, but hope that it might not be as serious as first feared. The Australian centre, who missed most of last season with knee damage that threatened to end his career, was carried off at Castleford on Monday and is due to have an arthroscope examination. That has been delayed because of the surgeon's illness.

Bradford have poached the teenaged scrum-half, Ben Western, from under the noses of Hull. Western, who lives on The Boulevard, the street that leeds to Hull's ground, is the latest discovery by the Bulls chief scout, Eric Hawley, whose previous proteges include Ellery Hanley and Jason Robinson.

Leeds will have three of the players who missed their heavy defeat at St Helens on Tuesday back in action for their game at home to Wakefield tonight. Anthony Farrell, Barrie McDermott and Daryl Powell are all in the side, but Iestyn Harris has failed a fitness test. Vince Fawcett makes his Trinity debut at loose forward.

With several back-rowers injured, Huddersfield may start Nigel Wright in tonight's other match, at home to unbeaten St Helens. Bobbie Goulding should be fit to face his former club, for whom Kevin Iro is still missing, but Vila Matautia and Tommy Martyn could pass tests.

Jon Clarke, the Wigan player recently released from a young offenders' institution after being convicted of assault, is making up for lost time. He scored five tries from the second row in the Wigan Under-21 side's 58-12 win over Widnes earlier this week.

Although that strengthened his case for a first-team recall, Clarke will have to bide his time. The squad for Sunday's match against Gateshead includes two players due to return from injury, Paul Johnson and Simon Haughton.

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